A four-part special. More to come!
The following piece of text is an excerpt taken from my own notes on the fictional town of Natureville, the central locale where my original story is set.
1066. The Battle of Hastings. While the Norman-French army, under the influence of William, the Duke of Normandy, was fighting the English army, lead by Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, another battle occurred in France.
A leader of a small revolutionary religious chapel, Simon "Father" Jacobs was burying his first and only wife, Mabel, who had succumbed to her wounds of childbirth, taking their fourth child and second son with her. Distraught with losing his wife, Father Jacobs took his remaining three children - Amelie, Magnus "Pope" and Clarabelle - travelling across the remainder of France. His life was now worthless. Hopeless. Without his love, Father Jacobs was nothing.
Alas, his distraught turned to hunger when he and his three children reached a small hut which housed a deadly cunning man, who hid many secrets that Simon wished to hear. Father Jacobs struck an unlikely agreement with the mysterious man; he and his three children - who had been growing weary after travelling non-stop for several months - free entry into his humble abode. The children and Simon would be given free food, clothes and everything else they wished for. All Simon had to do was carry out specific tasks for the mysterious man. Seeing the gleeful looks on his children's' faces, he accepted the terms of the agreement.
At first the tasks were simple. The mysterious man - who revealed his name to be Hans - would ask Simon to fetch him items. Simon would travel to the nearest village, purchase items with the money Hans gave him, and return to the hovel. However, it soon became trickier to purchase the items as the shop-keeps refused to sell items that were off "dangerous quality". It was after this that Simon became suspicious of the man he had grown to trust.
One night after his children had fallen asleep, the lonely father ventured out secretly to follow Hans into the deepest part of the forest that surrounded his hovel. It was here where Simon witnessed the strange man doing a dark ritual involving a snake, fire and an old-looking, curious tome. Father Jacobs found it hard but was able to swallow his screams of disgust when Hans slit the snake from head to tail, muttering an incantation that he could not understand. The snake's deep red blood tricked into the fire, sizzling away.
It wasn't until the next day when he approached the mad man. At first, Father Jacobs stammered. Out of fear. But as he continued to explain the madness he had witnessed the previous evening, his stammers became less. Hans listened blankly to what Simon was saying. He then smiled a thin smile - and told Simon the truth. Hans was, in fact, a black magic practitioner. He had been working on creating "something enhancing" for several years, and only accepted Simon and his children in as their youth opposed the very thing he was fighting against. When Simon asked what that was, Hans simply replied with "Death".
It was then when Hans offered the ritual to Simon - offering to live in the body of a 38-year old for all of time. At first, Simon refused. He wished to be reunited with Mabel. He then posed the question to Hans, wondering if she could be brought back. Hans claimed that his powers were limited; he could reanimate the body of a human or animal but not one that has been dead for as long as Mabel. Heartbroken, Simon decides he no longer wishes to remain with Hans. He prepares to leave, but Hans refuses and offers him the same offer, this time stating he would do the same to his children - but only when they called themselves adults.
The conversation went back and forth... but Simon eventually accepted. He wanted the rule and dominance over his children. He wanted to protect them. Hans' way was the perfect chance for him.
In later records, Father Jacobs claims that the ritual was magnificent. In his final moments, he claims he was able to see Mabel. In their short conversation, she wished this for both him and their three children. When Simon woke up, he was a changed man.
1083. Amelie, Magnus "Pope" and Clarabelle - who were all 28, 25 and 21, respectively - had been noticing changes in their father for years now. His constant hunting expeditions. His odd allergy to the sun that was somehow cured by a simple pin that Hans had given him. His scholar disposition. How his skin and body had not changed in years. More importantly, the lack of love he showed them.
It had gotten to a point when they had had enough. Following Amelie - who had always been the strongest of the three siblings - they approached their father, begging him to change his ways. They were older now, they no longer needed to mooch of Hans. In a blind rage, Father Jacobs attacked his children.
When Hans returned that evening from a visit to a nearby village, he was shocked to have learned that Simon had murdered his children. Caked in their blood, Simon shrugged and said "No. I gave them what you have blessed me with."
A cough aroused the pair from their argument. So forth, the three Founders of Natureville were born.